Making a case for Pilsner

Everyone likes the underdog, and whilst I’m not usually up to the task of defending a specific beer style, I wanted to take a minute to explain to you why Pilsners are a great style of craft beer and why I think more breweries should make them.

Pilsner – Style of beer originating in Pilsen, Czech Republic. Brewed all over the world.

Color- Pale, Golden, Clear. 

Flavor profile – Light, crisp, heady. Can be heavily hopped with traditional eastern European varietals.

Now that we have the boring stuff out of the way, let me explain something. I know that Pilsners are a very popular style of beer worldwide. It’s one of the most esteemed craft styles in Europe, and there are literally thousands of pilsners available over there. It’s all very nice.

But I do not live in Europe and I would like to see some of that Pilsner love over here in the States. It’s not a beer for the weak or uninitiated (I've heard this from beer snobs). It’s not lame or boring. It can be complex, refreshing, and eminently drinkable.  It is just as much a craft style as IPA, and sometimes I don’t want a beer with 8% ABV and an IBU count higher than Snoop Lion (and seriously more reggae man).

I want to set the scene now. I used to live in New Zealand. My aunt had come over to visit me in Wellington, NZ, where I lived. We spent the entire day walking around the city. We were hot, tired, and very thirsty. We sat down at a brewery bar in Wellington called Monteith’s. We ordered a couple of their classic pilsners. Two sips into this beer and we were flabbergasted. It was amazing. It was crisp and flavorful and hitting every button it needed to. It was the best beer I’ve ever had.

That experience was a combination of a million things coming together to form the perfect beer drinking experience, but I’m sure we can make something close happen again over here. I have had a lot of great pilsners from craft breweries here in this country, but I haven’t had enough. Show me that amazing, light-golden color and hit me with a subtle and heady hop aroma that I haven’t smelled in a long time. Make it bold, but make it so I can have three and not hate myself an hour later.  Let’s make this beer as ubiquitous as it should be, and I won’t be complaining.



Chris McClellan